National News

Make sure you know where your charity donations are going

Advice from the Charity Commission on how to give safely to charities.

Giving to charity is a longstanding and important tradition, and the British public are generous when it comes to supporting charitable causes.

Sadly, that generosity can sometimes be undermined by those who seek to intercept charitable funds for their own gain.

Charity Commission want to help donors know how to spot a genuine registered charity. By making simple checks part of the routine of donating, we can all become smarter and more conscious donors, and help promote public trust in the sector as a whole.

To access the full news story please visit the Charity Commission website here.

Sexual safety on mental health wards

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, lead for mental health, Dr Paul Lelliott has written to specialist mental health NHS trusts in England to inform them of an upcoming workshop to explore what can be done to improve sexual safety on mental health wards and thank trusts for engaging with CQC on this work.

Co-hosted with the National Mental Health Nurse Directors Forum, more than 100 senior staff from NHS mental health trusts are expected to take part.

The letter, sent on the 11th April, also outlines the issues around sexual safety on mental health wards that were highlighted in the CQC  State of Care in Mental Health Services 2014-17 report. Published in August 2017, the report noted that “a substantial number of services admitted both men and women to the same wards” and that this can lead to “a heightened responsibility to ensure that patients are safe from sexual harassment and sexual violence”.

For more information go to the CQC

Majority of UK voters would support tax rises to fund NHS, poll finds

More than six in 10 people would support tax increases to generate more funding for the NHS, according to new research.

The new poll also found that nearly 90 per cent of adults in England, Scotland and Wales believe the health service faces a major or severe financial crisis, a huge rise from 14 per cent in 2014.

Those willing to pay more into the NHS include 61 per cent of the highest earners, according to the highly respected and long-running British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey.

To read the report in full go to the website

The Homelessness Monitor: England 2018

The Homelessness Monitor: England 2018 is the seventh annual report of an independent study, commissioned by Crisis and funded by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, of the homelessness impacts of recent economic and policy developments in England.

  • The majority of local councils in England are struggling to find any stable housing for homeless people in their area, leaving them forced to place more and more people in unstable temporary accommodation. There are urgent calls for more permanent and genuinely affordable homes to be built.
  • As housing supply dwindles and rents outstrip wages and benefits, 70% of local authorities surveyed for the report said they had difficulties finding social housing for homeless people last year, while a striking 89% reported difficulties in finding private rented accommodation.
  • There are 78,000 homeless households in England in temporary accommodation and, if current trends continue, more than 100,000 such households will be trapped in temporary accommodation by 2020.
  • The problem of rising homelessness pressures is not limited to London – 40% of councils in London said the number of people seeking help from their homelessness services had risen over the last year, compared to 76% in the Midlands, 70% in the south and 62% in the north.

You can read the full report here

New Chair of Charity Commission gives first major speech

Baroness Stowell addressed delegates at the annual conference of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in London

You can read the transcript of her speech here

A new charging structure for Data Protection registration is coming

The Government has announced a new charging structure for data controllers to ensure the continued funding of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The new structure was laid before Parliament as a Statutory Instrument and will come into effect on 25 May 2018, to coincide with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Until then, organisations are legally required to pay the current notification fee, unless they are exempt.

Under the 2018 Regulations, organisations that determine the purpose for which personal data is processed (controllers) must pay the ICO a data protection fee unless they are exempt. These fees fund the Office’s data protection work, which includes work under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA).

The new data protection fee replaces the requirement to ‘notify’ (or register), which is in the Data Protection Act 1998 (the 1998 Act). They will have the power to enforce the 2018 Regulations and to serve monetary penalties on those who refuse to pay their data protection fee.

Although the 2018 Regulations come into effect on 25 May 2018, this doesn’t mean everyone has to pay the new fee on that date. Controllers who have a current registration (or notification) under the 1998 Act do not have to pay the new fee until that registration has expired.

ICO undertakes to email registered organisations six weeks before their registration expires.

How much will the data protection fee be?

There are three different tiers of fee and controllers are expected to pay between £40 and £2,900. The fees are set by Parliament to reflect what it believes is appropriate based on the risks posed by the processing of personal data by controllers.

The tier you fall into depends on:

  • how many members of staff you have
  • your annual turnover
  • whether you are a public authority
  • whether you are a charity

Not all controllers must pay a fee. Many can rely on an exemption.

Tier 1 – micro organisations

You have a maximum turnover of £632,000 for your financial year or no more than 10 members of staff. The fee for tier 1 is £40.

Tier 2 – small and medium organisations

You have a maximum turnover of £36 million for your financial year or no more than 250 members of staff. The fee for tier 2 is £60.

Tier 3 – large organisations

If you do not meet the criteria for tier 1 or tier 2, you have to pay the tier 3 fee of £2,900.

Please note that ICO will regard all controllers as eligible to pay a fee in tier 3 unless and until you tell them otherwise.

Charities that are not otherwise subject to an exemption will only be liable to pay the tier 1 fee, regardless of size or turnover. However, the onus will be on you, when you either register or renew your registration, to inform ICO that you have charitable status

The criteria for exemption from fees are currently

  • you are only processing data for the purposes of establishing or maintaining membership or support for a body or association not established or conducted for profit, or providing or administering activities for individuals who are members of the body or association or have regular contact with
  • you only hold information about individuals whose data you need to process for this exempt purpose
  • the personal data you process is restricted to personal information that is necessary for this exempt purpose

Please note that exemption is only from fees – you must still register with ICO as a Data Controller.

More guidance will be available before 25th May and you are advised to check the website regularly

Kooth – online mental health services

XenZone is a provider of online mental health services for children, young people and adults. Kooth, from XenZone, is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use.

For more information about XenZone, please visit XENZONE.COM.

If you’re a parent looking for more information about Kooth, please email PARENTS@XENZONE.COM

Power to Change Community Business Fund

Deadline 22nd May

The Community Business Fund provides grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 to help existing locally based and community-led businesses in England to increase their social impact and make them more viable in the long term.

Since it launched in April 2016, more than 90 organisations across England have been awarded grants with a combined total of £16 million. The funding has supported a wide range of community businesses, such as community hubs, ferryboats, cafes, a community-run cinema, and a lobster hatchery.

Projects and organisations must be incorporated, based in England and share the following four key features of a community business:

  • Locally rooted – they are rooted in a particular geographical place and respond to its needs, for example high levels of urban deprivation or rural isolation.
  • Accountable to local community – they are accountable to local people. This can be demonstrated in many ways but the organisation must have evidence of regular community influence on the business.
  • Trading for benefit of local community – they are businesses and their income comes from activities like renting out space in their buildings, trading as cafes or selling the produce they grow.
  • Broad community impact – they benefit the community as a whole and can clearly evidence the positive social impact on the broader community.

Projects must be ready to start within six months and can last between 18 months to three years in total. They also must share one or more of the following seven impact goals:

  • Reduce social isolation.
  • Improve health and wellbeing.
  • Increase employability.
  • Create better access to basic services.
  • Improve local environment.
  • Enable greater community cohesion.
  • Foster greater community pride and empowerment.

The grants can be used for the following:

  • Capital costs including building, vehicles, equipment of significant value, refurbishment costs.
  • Project-specific revenue costs like staff costs, professional fees, volunteer costs.

The funding cannot be used for retrospective costs, existing day to day running costs or costs which someone else is paying for, whether in cash or in kind.

Round 5 applications will be accepted from 10 am on 24 April 2018 to noon on 22 May 2018.

For more information please visit Lincolnshire Funding Portal here.

Young Minds #FightingFor Report

Published for their 25th anniversary, Young Minds’ #FightingFor report shows that while most people believe that there is less stigma about mental health than there used to be, young people and parents face a huge range of barriers to finding the right support.

They conducted two major surveys with more than 2,700 young people who have looked for support for their mental health and more than 1,600 parents whose children have looked for support.

The findings show that:

  • Only 9% of young people and 6% of parents reported that they had found it easy to get the support they needed. 66% of young people and 84% of parents reported they had found it difficult.
  • Only 6% of young people and 3% of parents agreed that there is enough support for children and young people with mental health problems. 81% of young people and 94% of parents disagreed.

Young people and parents reported barriers at every stage in their search for help. When asked what barriers they had faced, if any, to getting support for their mental health:

  • 51% of young people said that they hadn’t understood what they were going through
  • 23% of parents said that their child hadn’t told them what they were going through
  • 42% of parents reported problems getting help from school or college
  • 29% reported having problems getting help from their GP.

You can read the report as an online pdf here

It’s #TimetoInvest in young people’s wellbeing

New Prince’s Trust research reveals that young people fear for their emotional health more than ever before, as worries about the future, money and generally ‘not being good enough’ pile up on their generation.

  • 61% of young people regularly feel stressed and more than a quarter go as far as to say they regularly feel hopeless
  • Young people’s happiness and confidence in their emotional health have dropped to the lowest levels ever recorded
  • Prince’s Trust chief executive, Nick Stace, calls on the government and employers to promote positive mental wellbeing and support young people into fulfilling, sustainable careers

The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index (pdf, 2mb)  report, based on a survey of 2,194 respondents aged 16 to 25, found that the happiness and confidence young people feel in their emotional health have dropped to the lowest levels since the study was first commissioned in 2009.

According to the Index, which gauges young people’s wellbeing across a range of areas from working life to family relationships, the happiness young people experience in relation to their emotional health has plummeted by four points in just one year, from 61 to 57. This is the biggest drop in any area attributed to wellbeing ever recorded by the Index, and is a score which has fallen considerably since 2010, when it stood at 70. Confidence in future emotional health is also down by two points this year, to 65 – the lowest level so far

For more information go to the Trust website